Category Archives: Random musings and humor

God’s So Good at Teaching Us Humility

Wednesday afternoon, I got some of the most awesome news of my life.

My publisher of choice – the one that caused the initial spark of an idea for even writing fiction – is going to offer me a contract to publish my book!!!!

To say I was excited would be a major understatement. Jubilant, elated, ecstatic… leaping around the kitchen while screaming my head off… that would begin to describe my reaction.

I called Ray, sent a text to my sisters and parents, and an email to my prayer warrior mom’s group, whose prayers I had requested for the book.  I reveled in the glory while I prepared a quick lunch and got us ready to run a few errands. Published! I am going to be published! My name is going to be on the front of a book cover, my picture on the back. Words that I wrote will be available for sale across the United States… and beyond!

I beamed my way through getting Boo into the car and off we were on our way to the stores. I forgot one thing… in the midst of a huge fit, during which Boo was demanding the Kindle Fire, I had placed the device in question on top of my car. I was taking the dog out, and it was the one handy place I could think of that she wouldn’t attempt to climb to in order to get her desired toy. This happened about five minutes before that wonderful email from the publisher, and I just completely spaced it.

Fast forward an hour and a half, and we’re driving down a country road when I hear “Ker klunk, ker klunk!” from the top of my car. Bewildered, I looked in my side view mirror just in time to see something black fly from my car to the side of the road. The Kindle.

I turned the car around and parked in the driveway of the home whose yard I thought I was passing at the time. I climbed out of the car and began to look . Unfortunately, the area is hopelessly overgrown, and I had no idea whether to look up, or to look down. Did the Kindle have enough lift coming off of the car that it could have caught on a tree branch? Or was it more likely to be in a ditch? Was it lodged under the pile of dead branches, or had it made it further beyond the tree line? I had no idea.

The kind home owner happened to come down the driveway, having already planned to work on cleaning the area up that afternoon, and he helped in the search for a while. After a humbling half hour spent walking up and down the roadside, picking through branches and trash, all while wearing a skirt and sandals, I finally had to give up. I gave the kind man my phone number, just in case (and because I’m in the habit of giving strange men my number), and drove off, now in a rush to complete my shopping before a scheduled meeting.

I’ve long recognized that humility is an area for growth for me, as I’ve mentioned once or twice. As I’ve prayed for the successful publication of this book, I’ve tried to remember to also pray that God would keep me humble through the process, remembering always that they aren’t really my words, but His, that it wasn’t my idea, but the Spirit’s, and that, without God, I can do nothing.

My losing the Kindle, feeling embarrassed as I searched high and low on a rather busy country road, and having to confess the loss to the children… and Ray… that was God’s way of saying, “I’ve got this Steph. One way or another, child, I’ll keep reminding you that you’re not all that. In fact, my beloved daughter, you are nothing… without Me.”

Thanks, God. Got it. For now, at least.

A Special Meal for the Feast of Angels

I generally draw a blank when it comes to celebrating the liturgical calendar at home. I certainly can’t rely on my own creativity. The last time I attempted to do so, the best I could do for the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary was this:

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No one was able to guess the significance, so I’ll spill the beans:

Kale Mary, full of grapes. The gourd is with you.

Totally irreverent, yes. But you have to admit it’s pretty funny. Here’s hoping God has a sense of humor. And Mary. And Jesus. And Joseph.

You don’t think I’d get to heaven only to have Joseph, Protector, come after me for a little kale Mary joke, do you? Eek.

Any who… Thanks be to God, my friend Kristine recently shared the blog, Catholic Cuisine, and I am loving it!

It has lots of great meal ideas for celebrating the liturgical calendar that are simple and do-able. Plus, as long as they taste good, I don’t think Ray will be too terribly annoyed by my Jesus-freakishness.

Since I’m reading St. Therese’s Story of a Soul, I really wanted to observe her feast day on Wednesday. There was a suggestion for Penne Rosa on the website that looked lovely. However, when I went to find the flower-shaped pasta today at Kroger, I had no such luck.

BUT, they did, of course, have angel hair pasta. Yesterday was the feast of St.’s Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the Archangels, so I thought, What the hay, I can make angel hair pasta with white sauce, and we will celebrate that.

Not completely lacking in creativity, I continued to embellish the creation over the course of making dinner. When the children and I finally sat down for our meal, I had come up with this:

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I read the day’s Mass reading to them (Revelation 12:7-12ab), which tells the story of Michael and his angels casting Satan and his minions down to hell. Then I explained that:

  • The angel hair pasta is, of course, for the angels. Dressed in white as angels do, with an alfredo sauce.
  • The tomatoes symbolize the blood of Christ, through which we are saved. (Originally, the tomatoes were to be the demons, but once I read the scripture verse again, I realized that I liked this scheme better. A drizzling of red sauce would have worked better, but, well… I was improvising as I was reading to the kids, plates already set before us, so this had to do.)
  • The chicken nuggets symbolize Satan and his demons – since they’re just a bunch of chickens.
  • And they’re passing the earth (AKA broccoli), on their way to the netherworld.

The Feast of the Guardian Angels is Thursday, and this could easily be modified.  The pasta with alfredo sauce for the angels, which you could wrap around the nuggets, symbolizing each of us, as our guardian angels are always with us and protecting us. Of course, I like the well-balanced meal, so a little broccoli would show that the angels are with us, even here on earth, and you could put grapes – still on the vine – on the plate, reminding us that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, and the guardian angels are working to protect us and support us in our work for Christ!

As for St. Therese’s feast… I’m looking forward to making the crepes for breakfast. I haven’t ironed out dinner, but thought I might do something to demonstrate her “little way.” Some orzo pasta, perhaps, to show how even very little things can add up to so much more? I also plan to challenge the children to do at least one small act of kindness which no one else will ever no about, just for the knowledge that they’ve been pleasing to God.

What are your plans for upcoming liturgical celebrations? Please share in the comments!

 

What Not to Say… When A Woman Tells You She’s Pregnant

 

The news of our fifth child was certainly met with widely variant responses. Most of my friends were shocked but excited for us. Our family, on the other hand… well, once I got over the tears and the anger, their responses seemed downright amusing.

The words below are all ones that I have heard, whether for this child or a previous one. I’m sure many of you can relate.

1. “Aren’t you a little old?” Well, thanks for the vote of confidence. I was of “advanced maternal age” when I had my last one, so, YES, according to most of society, I am TOO OLD to have another child. But I am healthy and active and pretty sure that I can survive having a child at forty.

2. “I’ll bet your husband was ticked!”  The man who threatened to jump off a tall building if I got pregnant again? Well, the good news is, he hasn’t gone to those levels… yet. Now, the task before me is to identify a hospital whose maternity ward is on the first floor. Just to be safe.

3. “That’s going to be a huge financial burden.” Thanks for pointing out the obvious and being so imminently practical. Yes, children are a tremendous financial burden.They are also a source of indescribable joy. I will trust in God to provide. (Those words were met with a snort, btw.) On a bright note, I’ll now have five children to look after me when I’m old, decrepit, and broke.

4. “I’m sorry.” Nobody’s died, here! I don’t need – or want – your condolences!!! An added hug only makes it worse. I don’t need to be comforted. Instead, I would really like someone to celebrate with me. Clearly you are not the person with whom I shall be doing that.

5. “You do know what causes that, don’t you?” Yes, as a matter of fact I do. And I’m kind of a fan.

6. “There’s a way to prevent these things, you know.” I’m well aware. That “way” also happens to be contrary to my beliefs. I know you don’t understand that, but I’d ask that you please respect it.

7. “You should have gone to the doctor a long time ago.” (This said to the father-to-be.) Seriously? When should that have been? After #4 was conceived… or before? Or perhaps it should have been before #3 was created? Exactly which ones of our children do you feel we should have prevented?

8. “You’re killing me.” Okay. This one left me without words. How could my having another child possibly kill anyone, with the possibly exception of ME? I do not intend to raise a homicidal maniac. In fact, perhaps this child will grow to become a great scientist and find a cure for cancer. So, perhaps, rather than killing you, this child could actually save your rude, thoughtless, life-disrespecting @*s.

Ending on this note might leave one thinking that I’m bitter, and I’m not. Honestly, some of these responses left me in tears, and others left me red with anger. But I understand the intentions behind them (well, most of them. Let’s face it, though, a few are just really rude and selfish), and I know that… most of them… were said out of love.

The kids’ response was what really got me. In the midst of the negativity, they screamed in joy, jumping up and down, immediately arguing whether it would be a girl or a boy, and asking what we were going to name it. The continue to make me a little uncomfortable by coming up to “kiss baby” and give him/her hugs. They loved and were overjoyed by this child from the moment they knew it existed.

Jesus tells us that we must become like little children. This was a glimpse into exactly what he meant.

What responses have you heard when you shared the news of an unexpected pregnancy?

Witness to God’s Goodness

When we finally got a warm day in March, I decided it was high time to take the Christmas wreath off the back door. Much to my surprise, I discovered that a pair of birds had been industriously at work, and their new home was nestled in among the faux evergreen branches.  Though I knew it would make a mess, I didn’t have the heart to remove the home these birds had worked so hard on, and so I left the wreath – and nest – in place.

What followed was a huge treat for the whole family.  We watched, day by day, as eggs were added to the nest, ultimately totaling five.  We observed the birds coming and going, and, when their blue eggs surprised us – these definitely weren’t robins! –  we did research to determine that our birds were house finches.

The eggs, visible through the glass door
The eggs, visible through the glass door

I felt it was significant and special that the eggs hatched on Good Friday.  The children were even able to watch one of the baby birds emerge from her shell during our annual Good Friday tea with friends.  It was a reminder that, even on such a sad day, we had the celebration of Easter to look forward to.

Our tiny baby birds
Our tiny baby birds

Of course, the newly hatched eggs meant that I didn’t want people going in and out of that door to access the deck.  Climbing in and out of the window was a bit inconvenient, especially for all of us women, who were wearing skirts, and even more so for those women wearing skirts who were also pregnant, but… we made it work, nonetheless, and I daresay that none of my guests will ever forget that particular Good Friday Tea.

For over two weeks after that day, we had a treat waiting for us each morning, as we quietly peered through the glass door to see how the babies had changed.  The tiny birds started off as furry pink blobs, eyes closed and utterly unaware of the faces peering at them through the clear barrier.  After several days, their bodies became covered with tufts of hair, and after a week or so, they opened their eyes.  In two short weeks, their wings and feathers became visible and their awareness developed so that they would shrink down into the nest whenever we moved the curtain to take a peek.

On Monday afternoon, at two and a half weeks old, three birds had already left the nest,  and we were blessed to watch the final two muster up their courage and take flight.

I realized that we could learn a lot from these birds, and I’ll share that in a post on another day. For now, I thought I’d just share this little miracle of God’s creation, and His goodness in letting my little family be witness to it.

I’d love to hear how God has blessed you recently!  Please share your blessings in the comment section, below!

7 Quick Takes – About a Whole Lot of Nothing

At a bit of a loss as to what to write about today. We’ll see how this ends up…

— 1 —

The kids are on two hour delay.  AGAIN.  They should have had 15 days of school since Christmas break ended.  So far, 5 of those days have been cancelled, and at least three of them have been two hour delays – maybe more, it sure seems like more.  Normally I enjoy having the extra time with them, but at this time in my life when I’m trying to develop and stick to a schedule, so that I might live with intention… it is just really messing with my mojo.

— 2 —

Am I wrong, or did we go to school when it was below zero outside?  I do sympathize with these kids, and I realize that so many kids have to stand at the bus stop, but seriously, here.  The temperature in two hours, when I will actually take the kids to school, will be all of one degree higher than it is now, when I would normally be taking the kids to school.  Yesterday, the temperature was actually lower when they went to school.

— 3 —

I didn’t have holes in my shoes, and the route wasn’t uphill both ways, but I did walk to school, probably about a half mile.  Some days I did it with three layers of clothes and bread bags to keep my boots from leaking.  Kids these days…

— 4 —

And, like every other kid that walked in my school, I walked by myself, or with my siblings and/or friends.  None of this “Mommy has to walk with you stuff.”  OK, OK, my sister actually personally knows a teenager who was abducted on his way to school last year.  Sadly, in the world we live in, Mommy really does need to walk her kids to school, in the very rare instance that a child actually gets to walk to school.  It just seems kind of sad, this generation of kids that never gets to do anything by themselves.  It’s like we shelter them and shelter them, and then one day, suddenly, they get their driver’s license and have free reign.  Now what are they supposed to do with that?

— 5 —

Guess what has finally made it near the top of my “to-do” list for the day?  Take down the Christmas tree.  Can you believe it?  Some people have it down before Christmas day is even over.  I believe in keeping it up till at least Epiphany, and the Baptism of Jesus is even better, but (and I’m not looking at my calendar here) I think that was two weeks ago.  The kids even turned the lights on yesterday!  I totally don’t know why, but this year, I just have no motivation to take it down and put it all away.  The only reason that I’ve moved it to the top of the list is the prospect of possibly having people over here tomorrow who have never been to the house and whom I barely know.  Not really the image I want to present to the world – “The Weird Lady Who Keeps Her Christmas Stuff Up Year-Round.”

— 6 —

In the first 24 days of 2014, I’ve wrecked my car (OK, that was on New Year’s Eve, but close enough), my car battery has died, Ray’s car battery has died, the garage door broke, and a bolt from the same garage door, oddly unrelated to the break, embedded itself in my tire.  We’ve received a huge bill for Bear’s EKG (which was normal, praise God), school tuition is going up, and we must face the music that Ray needs a new car.  We had a small blizzard and some of the coldest temperatures we’ve experienced in our lifetimes.  Next week, we look forward to temps even colder than those we had a few weeks ago.  We’ve lost a dear friend and will say good bye to him tomorrow.  All this in 24 days.

It was laughable until last week.  Now, I confess, it does leave me to question what the rest of this year might have in store.

— 7 —

So, here’s hoping that all the bad was packed into January, that the remaining months of 2014 will be packed full of joy and blessings.  Here’s praying that, regardless, we will see God in every moment and remember his goodness, that he loves us more than we can possibly understand, and that he is always by our sides.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes – The Week in Pictures

It’s been quite a week, and I believe that a pictorial summary is in order. Of course, I love hearing the sound of my own keyboard, and thus I will liberally add commentary.

— 1 —

It may be the only resolution I keep this year, but I am pleased to have already achieved one of my Silly Resolutions.  I did, indeed, have a blast playing with Ray and the kids at the indoor water park.

Ray and the Dude spent most of their time playing football. Not my idea of water park entertainment, but to each his own.

20140109-151824.jpg 20140109-151756.jpgBear thought the baby slide was a bit lame, but it topped Boo’s list of “All Time Fun”.

20140109-152036.jpgFortunately, Bear overcame his fear of the water and learned to love the lazy river.

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Bonita loved it all.  Sadly, I couldn’t capture her coming off of the big water slide.  Here she is, posing for the camera, as usual.

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— 2 —

Saturday brought us a sick kid.  It’s been a while since the Dude was last sick, and apparently he had forgotten the fine art of hitting the commode.  I’ll spare you those pictures.  Not that I actually took any, but the image is etched in a very dark and scary place in my mind.  On the bright side, his illness spared us from waking at the crack of dawn to drive to his basketball game in Timbuktu.  Even better, Ray and I got to leave the kids with my parents while we went to the IU Michigan game with friends.  IU lost, but we had a great time nonetheless, even if car trouble added an hour to our trip home.

IU v State game

— 3 —

The forecasters had warned us about Sunday. I woke at 7:30 and decided that my only chance at Mass might be the 8:00, since the snow was expected to pick up around 10:00.  I threw some clothes on and made it… a few minutes late.  I’m glad I went, although I do regret that the rest of the family wasn’t able to go with me (Dude was still a wee bit sick, and, anyways, motivating Ray to go to 8:00 Mass has happened… maybe once?).  It was pure [guilty] bliss to enjoy the Mass without children fighting over my lap, asking for Kleenex, or requiring trips to the potty.  I almost decided to just go ahead and stay for the 10:00, as long as I was already there.  Alas, life requires Mama at home, and I had a post-Mass errand to run.

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I’m still amazed that Lowe’s had any snow shovels left.

As I write this, Mass and that trip to Lowe’s was the last time I was out of the house.  By the grace of God, I stopped and grabbed Starbuck’s on my way home.  I’m pretty sure that indulgence has carried me through these last five days in the house.

— 4 —

By the time I got home, we were living in a winter wonderland.  Here’s me when I got home from walking the dog – Keyser’s last hoorah before the cold temps hit.

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And here’s me and the Dude building a sledding hill in the backyard, with Bear thwarting our efforts – but too cute to get upset with.  I very nearly threw my back out with this activity, but the Dude’s enjoyed the hill enough that it would have been worth it, even if I had.

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— 5 —

 I’m willing to bet that lots of people took pictures like this earlier this week:

weather screen print

But I imagine that far fewer had cause to take pictures like this:

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Yes, my friends, that ice is on the inside of our home.  This window was the worst, but nearly every window in our home exhibited some degree of frost.  In the windows’ defense, this was taken at a time when our heater was struggling to keep up and the house was only 63 degrees.  I thought maybe we needed to call the repairman, until we checked the filter… which was black.  The house was back up to our regular 67 degrees within a half hour, and the windows quickly lost their frost.

— 6 —

Here’s a “before” picture of the project I intended to start during these snowed-in days.  I thought, “What better way to clean out the craft closet, than to actually do some crafts with the kids?”  Alas, the closet remains untouched.

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One day at a time, one drawer at a time… I will conquer this beast!  Eventually.

— 7 —

Last but not least, Starbucks indulgence aside, I am 100% certain that prayer has brought me through this week “stuck” in the house without ever feeling “stuck” in the house.  Here are sage words to remember when we think, “I could pray right now, but I think I’ll [fill in the blank] instead.

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For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

(Oh, and I’ve gotta add that I just completed a second Silly Resolution!  I finished my 7QT Friday post on Thursday night!  Well… it’s Thursday night in Illinois and westward, at least. Oooooh, this feels good!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Loss of Common Courtesies

It has struck me on several occasions lately that kids today (and I must include my own generation in this) are missing a few of Emily Post’s finer points.

Perhaps more than just a few.

I must confess that I have never actually read Ms. Post, and I’m pretty sure these points are not listed in her book.  But, if she were alive today, I believe that she would add them.

Here goes:

Stop (and Pray) for Funeral Processions

OK.  This one is just sad.  I am positively shocked when a funeral procession drives past and all the other cars just keep rollin’ on.  Are we seriously so busy these days that we can’t show our respect for the deceased by pulling to the side of the road and waiting for a funeral procession to go by?  Better yet, offer up a prayer as they drive past for the comfort of the family and the eternal rest of the departed soul.

Babysitters: Leaving Things Better than You Found Them

Before I started babysitting, my mother drilled it into my head that I should always leave my employers’ home looking better than I found it.  This meant that if the basement was covered in toys when I arrived, I picked them all up before I left.  If the sink was full of dirty dishes when the mom left, it was empty when she got home.  And certainly anything that I used or dirtied during my stay was cleaned, picked up and put away.  This, of course, included the children’s dishes, toys, clothes, etc.

Unfortunately, today’s generation of babysitters do not appear to have been taught this rule by their mothers.  Thus, my generation of moms must suffer through with babysitters who happily flounce out of our doors, our money in their fists, as we turn our exhausted eyes to yet another sink full of dirty dishes that we didn’t even create, all the while wondering why we are paying these girls five times what we were once paid, to do so much less.

Moms, let’s do better for the next generation of mothers.  Let’s teach our sons and daughters to adhere to the principles and work ethics which our own mothers taught us!

Attending Funerals or Visitations

Sorry to get back on the funeral topic again, but in the past few years I’ve attended a few funerals for friends whose parents have passed away.  I’ve been shocked at the lack of my contemporaries among the mourners.  In fact, in one case, I know for a fact that I was the only friend of the grieving daughter that actually bothered to show up.

I know we’re all busy, and I know that none of us like to attend a funeral.  I know that it’s awkward attending a funeral for a person that you don’t even know.  I know that we have kids, and have to find childcare for them in order to go to a solemn event.

I also know that the presence of a friend – someone who is simply there to show their love and support for you in your grief – means more in that moment to a grieving person than a thousand well wishes and promises of prayer.

So, next time someone you know loses a loved one, even if that person isn’t your BFF, and even if you’ve never met their loved one, err on the side of doing too much rather than too little.  You’ll be glad you did, and so will your friend.

 

Which ones am I missing?  Probably ones that I, myself, violate on a regular basis.  Please do me the favor of bringing them to my attention by leaving a comment

 

I DID IT!!!!

The toilets may not be clean, and the kids might have skid marks on their underwear, but I’m pretty darn thrilled right now.

I should clarify: The novel’s not actually finished. I’m a “winner” simply by hitting the 50,000 word goal (did I just say simply?). After I clean toilets and do laundry (yes, my hard core friends, I may cave and do a little of this on a Sunday **GASP**.  I figure God wants me to have peace of mind, and I’ll have that when my home and kids are clean again), I think I’ll have the story done in a week.  Then shopping, edits, shopping, edits, gift wrapping, edits, and… you get the idea.  Here’s hoping that I’ll have something ready to submit to publishers by early 2014.

The month of NaNoWriMo, Insanity, and Inspiration has flown by, and I have loved every minute of writing.  Well, every minute that hasn’t been constantly interrupted by “Mommy, I’m hongry!” or “Mommy, I need go potty!” or “Mommy, can I pway on your iPhone?”  It’s been a blessing to feel that I’m following the leading of the spirit, and I have definitely felt the Spirit at work.

Now, to celebrate, I’m going to go pray a Rosary while I walk my poor, neglected dog, who usually gets a walk every night and has had exactly three since the start of the month.  Then, some vino!

 

Love at First Talk of Immunizations

It’s been a long time coming, but I am more than ecstatic to share with you that I have finally (I think!) found the perfect pediatrician for our family.

Yes, it was love at first talk of immunizations.

Courtesy of www.clareswinney.wordpress.com

You see, we’ve had four pediatricians in the nine years that we’ve had children.  One retired, one had a terrible office manager, one charged us for useless tests, and one had a filthy office.  All of them pushed vaccines, looked down their noses at anything natural, and were in lock step with every government recommendation that exists for children’s “health.”

Am I picky?  Yes.

Am I a little wacko in what I’m looking for?  Yes.  I want a mainstream doctor that practices non-mainstream stuff, like health through nutrition, caution in immunizations, and a general belief that the pharmaceutical reps don’t hold every medical answer known to mankind.

So, after the last doctor, I finally wised up and asked our chiropractor for a recommendation.  It took a few months to get in, but here I am, so excited that I’m actually writing a blog post about it!

Would you believe, when I told her that Bear had experienced a noticeable decrease in eye contact after a shot, she said, “Well, that’s it.  No more shots.”

WHAT???!!!!!  I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

No more feeling like the school nurse thinks I’m a total nut job!  (OK, I’m sure she still will, and I probably am, but I do feel slightly vindicated.)

No more having to send in the note to school that says immunizations are against our religious beliefs!  I have a firm no-lying policy, and don’t appreciate the State Board of Health forcing me to break that policy.  However, since this is for the health and wellbeing of my child, I figure this falls under the conscientious objector clause, so no, I’ve never gone to confession over this particular lie.

She also took Bear’s very large and irregularly shaped birth mark more seriously than previous doctors, which makes me happy as it has always seemed worthy of investigation to me.  And she is having us pursue an echocardiogram on the heart murmur which was not noticed until a year and a half ago.  I appreciate her diligent caution, for my own piece of mind, if nothing else.

It’s more than forty five minutes away, so here’s hoping the kids never get sick. But I’m willing to drive for someone who actually asked me if we do pasteurized or raw milk, or not at all, who recognizes nutrition as a means for healing, and who is willing to concede thatsome kids just shouldn’t get shots.

My faith in the medical establishment is slightly restored. HALLELUJAH!

NaNoWriMo, Insanity, and Inspiration

So, I might just be completely insane, but I’ve signed up to participate in NaNoWriMo. That’s National Novel Writing Month, for those of you who (like me a year ago) have never heard of it.  Participants sign up to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November.

That’s 1666.66667 words a day.

And I struggle to write a 350 word post each week.

And I’ve never written fiction.

Even in second grade, when I won the Young Author’s Award (yeah, look at me steaming up my nails and brushing them on my pajama shirt), it was a true story about my dog Tasha’s near brush with death.  It was cleverly titled, “My Dog Tasha”.  The pictures were great.  Wonder where that is?  (Geesh, and we moms worry about keeping every little picture our kids sign their names to!)

So, anyways… sometimes (OK, always, you just have to be looking for it) God gives you just what you need, and I think this might be one of those times.

This is going to seem a bit circuitous, but here goes:

I’ve been working on writing a Bible study for a few years now.  But, I felt terribly under-qualified.  The idea of getting a Masters in Theology has been playing in the back of my head for quite some time and recently really began to take shape – to the point of investigating schools, getting pricing, looking at scholarship info, and even – gasp! – sharing my desire with Ray (fearing that he would wig out since we’re still paying on his college loans – don’t even talk to me about saving for the kids’ college!)

Clearly, we are not in a position to send me to school to the tune of $12K or more.

So, I began to pray: “God, if you want me to do this, please show me the path.”

A few days later, I was looking at a publisher’s website and saw that they are specifically looking for Catholic teen fiction.  That sort of clicked with me in a scary sort of way.  Scary because, while the idea of writing fiction has popped in my head a few times lately, writing teen fiction was never part of my thought process.

Exciting because… I thought, “Hmmmm….  I might be able to do that.”  And,  “How cool would it be to impact a young person, about to embark on a lifetime of choices?”

If only I had an idea to get started.

So I prayed, “God, if you want me to do this, you’ve gotta give me an idea.  ‘Cause I sure don’t have one!”

And then, Saturday morning, a new Twitter friend, @Catholici_T, tweeted me, “@afewbeadsshort, but have you ever pondered the power of just a single bead of the Rosary?”

My first thought was, “Great thought!  I think I’ll make a blog post of that!”  And I still might.

But after letting the idea roll around in my head for a few hours, it turned into a Catholic teen novel.  What d’ya know?  Maybe God does want me to write this.

I’m an “all in” kind of gal.  It’s either all or none for me.  So, writing a novel in a month seems like a good way for me to go about it.  Here goes.  T minus 35 hours and counting.

EEK!